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Hamlin nears Chase spot with Bristol win

Aug. 26, 2012 at 12:14 AM

BRISTOL, Tenn., Aug. 26 (UPI) -- Denny Hamlin grabbed the lead from Carl Edwards with 38 laps to go Saturday and held on to win the Irwin Tools Night Race at Bristol Motor Speedway.

After seizing the lead, he fended off Jimmie Johnson to cross the finish line with a 1.1-second margin, closing in on a spot in the Chase for the Sprint Cup championship.

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Johnson, meanwhile, nailed down a Chase berth with his second-place finish in the wild contest, which featured 13 cautions on Bristol's modified concrete surface.

Sprint Cup Series points leader Greg Biffle, who finished 19th, and 12th-place finisher Dale Earnhardt Jr. also secured championship Chase spots at Bristol.

Jeff Gordon claimed third place, while Brian Vickers and Marcos Ambrose rounded out the Top 5.

Edwards faded down the stretch and ended up 22nd.

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